Saturday, July 7, 2012

The Boy Named Nod: Lords of the Pulpit Part 2

Blood on the Altar

I never understood why Nod feared his brother Abraham Cain so deeply. Trevor understands passion and anger. Gregor understands logic. The wrecking crew understands chaos and childhood. I know vengeance and cold cool calculation. Love and anger I have learned through my family. I take and kill and do because I have the ability to. Ergo, fear seems… silly. Distant. As I sprang for Cain, I started to understand.

Cain came without hesitation, dagger in hand. Unlike most fools that hold a knife, it wasn’t thrusting upward or stabbing down. He held it sideways, pressed back against his arm. My razor connected and slid down his blade. I rolled to the side and planted my feet against the nearest pew. I launched myself towards Cain once more, teeth bared, nostrils flared.

Cain raised a hand and the pews rose into the air. They began to spin and gravitate towards me.

Oh hell. I darted beneath a pew and leap atop another. It plunged to the floor, rolling as it fell. I hit the ground and pressed myself flat. The pew clove itself in two as it smashed into the floor above me. I braced myself and took the hit, gasping for air.

I shot forward from beneath the debris as three other pews drove themselves into the floor where I had been. They splintered apart from the force. I spun, seeking Cain.

He was at the back of the chapel, laughing. He was laughing at me. Here I was, trying to just survive. That’s what Nod despised wasn’t it? He hated that his brother, his own blood, could humiliate him so effortlessly.

I gritted my teeth. I was not Nod and this was not my brother. I would have no such hang-ups.

I darted across the chapel at Cain again. A pew raced for me, hovering three feet off the ground. I put a foot up on it and leapt it the air. Another pew shot straight up from the floor, aiming to cut me off. I caught the edge of it with a hand and spun myself sideways around it.

As I cleared the pew, Cain’s mouth was half open in disbelief. My feet planted themselves in his chest and slammed him to the ground. I brandished my razor and lashed out at Cain’s face. The skin peeled back, revealing artificial lights flashing wildly.

“I see your Father has welcomed you home Abraham.”

Cain spat at me and tried to rise. I slammed my foot into his throat and he began to choke, curling into a ball. I rolled him onto his back and knelt on his chest.

“Kill me wolf, if you have the stones.”

I took off my top hat and jacket and laid them next to Cain. I pulled off my white gloves, tugging at each finger slowly. I leaned down, staring into Cain’s eyes.

“Nice eye. A gift from Daddy wasn’t it? If you want to keep it… most of it anyway… you’ll tell me what you know about Rebecca.”

Cain sputtered and coughed.

“I know nothing about her.”

“That’s why you acted so strange when you saw her. We weren’t deaf you know. We heard you.”


I lowered my razor to his eye and sliced it open. It peeled like a grape and revealed the mechanical eye beneath.

“Stop! Stop what you are doing at once!”

I heard something whistling through the air at me. I dropped my head and pressed my razor tight against Cain’s throat. A candlestick crashed into the wall above me and shattered.

“Then tell me! Who is she?”

Cain breathed deeply.

“You mean, who was she? She was my sister, and Michael’s.”


“She died, when Michael was only three. It was what prompted East Fredricksburg to take Father away.”

Father again. That damned Adam 2.0.

“How was he involved? Was he responsible for her death?”

“He… he…”

A synthesized voice rang throughout the chapel.

“I drank from the wine of my bloodline and was imprisoned for it. But the Lord saw my plight and delivered me. He whispered to me his plans for the Upgrade of this city. All that was will be overwritten and in its place will be a perfectly functioning utopia, free of limitations and viruses.”

A figure stood in the doorway. He was as broad as the double doors and had to stoop to enter. He had no skin to speak of. There was a thin film over what little muscle tissue was visible. Gears spun and cylinders fired with his shimmering golden chassis. His teeth pistoned together as his eyes dialed themselves in and out of focus.

It was Adam 2.0.

I had known love with Rebecca and my family, rage at William and Cain.

But now… now I finally understood fear.

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